NEWS that another leading charity has fallen into insolvency as a result of rising pension costs will send further shockwaves around the Third Sector across Yorkshire and the North East, and the whole of the UK.

According to reports in the insolvency media, the Rural Development Council closed its doors at the end of March – after spearheading the business renaissance of the Northern Ireland countryside for almost 30 years.

The charity has blamed mounting pension payments and a lack of flexibility in the region’s local government pension scheme as the triggers for insolvency.

Ahead of insolvency, its pension deficit was reported to be in excess of £3m.

RDC were unable to secure the financial support required to stave off insolvency, ending up “trapped” in the scheme and not being able to afford to exit.

Having to pay contributions, which effectively depleted their assets, was partly to blame for a slow and painful demise into insolvency.

The threat of insolvency that confronted RDC is one that will be no stranger to the ever-increasing number of charities and not-for-profits considering their future.

There are 185,000 registered charities in the UK, with around 11,000 of these in Yorkshire and 5,000 in the North East. And sadly many good causes in Yorkshire and the North East are not immune to the threat of insolvency, amid unprecedented financial pressures.

Indeed, RDC Chair Tony McCusker said in the charity’s insolvency announcement: “We have witnessed a number of charities closing over recent years with increasing pension costs often the main contributor.”

This latest insolvency seems to have crept up on the charity. In a recent annual report, it reported that: “There is no reason to believe that future pension demands would threaten the solvency of the organisation.”

But the problem escalated at such speed and scale that the RDC had too little time to find a solution that potentially would have staved off insolvency.

Walsh Taylor works closely with the Third Sector to explore ways that struggling charities can avoid the costly process of liquidation wherever possible.

We have experience and expertise in pushing the boundaries and developing innovative ways of preventing their liquidation.

It is an insolvency approach that has enabled charities to transfer services and staff successfully to another like-minded organisation, and dissolve, even when they have a deficit.

For more information about the work of our licensed insolvency practitioners and businesses recovery teams in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Darlington, including our experience in dissolving a charity while retaining services, please call us on 03300 244 660 or email confidential@walshtaylor.co.uk

Mary Taylor
Director

Mary began working in insolvency for a national accountancy practice in Glasgow thirty years ago and worked in most divisions of the insolvency department.

She then moved to a smaller firm so she could advance her knowledge on a more hands on basis. She moved back to Leeds in 1987 and commenced working with a small firm of accountants and subsequently made partner.

She left in 1999 to set up her own practice, McCann Taylor.
McCann Taylor became involved with the consumer market both in England and Scotland.

Mary sold McCann Taylor in March 2007 and formed Walsh Taylor to concentrate on helping businesses experiencing financial difficulties.

Kate Ellis (neé Breese)
Director

Kate has worked in insolvency since 2001 starting out at a firm of solicitors in Leeds and latterly gaining positions within two national accountancy firms.

During this time Kate gained extensive experience in all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency, for the first part of her career specializing in personal insolvency and latterly corporate.

Kate has been with Walsh Taylor since its incorporation in September 2008, being promoted to Director in January 2010.

Kate is CPI and JIEB qualified, is experienced in a variety of industries and sectors and is the firm’s joint appointment taker.

Meg Heath
Director

Meg has a background in supporting SMEs, including the raising of finance and advising on organisational change. She is a non-executive director of companies in the private and third sector, including Walsh Taylor.

Previously she was Deputy Fund Director of one of the largest CDFIs in the UK, and has experience of the social enterprise, charity and private sectors. Her experience of assisting companies to survive and thrive has been gained across a broad range of sectors and in companies of all sizes.

In addition to her work at Walsh Taylor she works for other private companies, including non-executive and trustee positions.

Emma Mifsud
Director

After graduating from Leeds University in 2005 with a BA Hons degree in Criminology, Emma worked for a regional law firm in both the property department and insolvency and banking department. Whilst doing so Emma gained a Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP University.

Emma then joined a national accountancy firm in 2009 gaining experience in personal insolvency before moving to a Leeds based firm. At this firm Emma specialised in bankruptcies, IVA’s and negotiating informal agreements with creditors. In 2013 Emma gained her CPI qualification.

Since joining the firm in December 2013, Emma has taken on a portfolio of personal and corporate insolvency cases to extend her knowledge and expertise in all areas of insolvency.

In December 2017 Emma become a licensed appointment taker under the Insolvency Practitioners Association, she is JIEB qualified.

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